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Friday, June 5, 2015

Check out my Interview with Spirit!

Spirit made an awesome video about my time in Ecuador!
See more at:

So grateful to be apart of the itern team at Spirit this summer! Learn more about our organization at:

Thanks again, Spirit Cultural Exchange!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Last Days in Ambato, Ecuador!

Yesterday (March 10th), I spent most the day relaxing. I slept in, had a late breakfast and showered. I took some time to relax and read my book and waited for the girls to arrive home. When they arrived home around 2:00pm, we ate lunch. I brought several different foods for the girls to try including Thin Mints, Poptarts, and Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies. We had a blast trying the desserts and eating ice cream. Afterwards, we went outside to play and enjoy the sun. I took a picture with their little dog, who kinda has hair that matches mine! 

When Magus arrived home, we went into downtown Ambato to the artisan market there so that I could buy the last of my souvenirs. It was a long walk and it can be hard to shop in the market because you have to barter and search for the best deals. When we finally finished  our shopping spree, we headed for dinner. We had colada morada, which is a warm smoothie type drink which has several different types of fruit. We also had empanadas (probably my favorite food in all of Ecuador). We tried ones of meat and cheese. It was soo good. 

As you can probably see, the sun is great here. I love the vitamin D that I've been getting! After dinner, we came home and just relaxed.  I started planning my trip to the airport and just relaxed. Unfortunately, Netflix does not work here!

Today (March 11th), I slept in again and went on the roof all day to soak up some sun with my book. I am getting excited to come home. My flight leaves tomorrow morning at 5:30am and I will arrive in Chicago around 2:30pm. I will most likely be up all night driving and checking in at the airport.

Most the morning I sat on the roof with this view! I was so sunny and beautiful! What a blessed last day! 

This afternoon, the girls asked if I would pick them up from school. Of course I said yes! I took a taxi to their school and picked them up and then we went out to lunch at the restaurant. I had Gautita, which is an Ecuadorian tripe stew...

Our last lunch together!

After we ate lunch, we came back home and relaxed outside some more. A little later, Marco's (Magus's husband) parents came to meet me before I left. They were so sweet and brought me little souvenirs of Ecuador. We then had to run some errands and I was able to say goodbye to most of Magus's family. Then came my favorite part of the day! Magus taught me how to make my favorite Ecuadorian food, Empanadas! It was so often and I will definitely be trying the recipe at home! 
All in all, my trip was absolutely amazing. I was so blessed that Magus and her family were so generous and such great hosts. I am so blessed that God gave me the resources for this trip to relax, teach, and spend great time with friends. Thank you again for all your continued interest and support in my journey! Until next time!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Ama La Vida: Another Day Teaching in Chibuleo

Hey all! Hope all is well where you are! Today will be a short post because I didn't do anything too exciting to share. I went with Magus to teach in Chibuleo again. I taught five different classes of students today. I really love to teach, especially English. I enjoyed myself so much and think that teaching in another country(maybe Ecuador) is something I would really love to do in the future. The more time I spend in Ecuador, the more I fall in love with the people and the country. 

Something from school that I thought I would share... 

Every Monday, all the students in the entire school line up like this by grade. They are all dressed nicely in their uniforms and sing the national anthem together outside in the courtyard. It is a lot colder at the school because we are in the mountains, but the students tough it out! After they all sing, there is usually a lesson for the week. This weeks lesson was on friendship. The sixth graders gave the presentation and prepared speeches and sang a song.

Sixth graders giving their lesson! 

I taught all day and then Magus and I arrived home around 4:30pm. We picked up the girls (her daughters) and took the bus to downtown Ambato. We walked around for a bit and I got to take a picture with some landmarks in the park. One is a statue of Juan Montavlo, a famous writer from Ambato. The other photo is of me with some of the leftover decorations from Ambato's Fruit and Flowers festival (there is a big celebration and parade in the city with lots of people, music, and dancing).

After this, Magus and I went and got manicures. A full manicure here costs two dollars with fancy designs and everything. It was to relax and experience a manicure in another country! When our nails were dry, we walked to the bus stop and talked about our cultures and the differences between Ecuador and the USA. She said she is going to work on finding me a good Ecuadorian man to marry! We had many laughs and a great talk. She usually speaks to me in Spanish so I can practice and I speak to her in English. I think my Spanish is really great and I'm grateful for all her help and correction. Her and her family have been beyond generous to me. I was going to travel to Quito tomorrow, but have decided that I will stay another day here. Tomorrow I plan on spending the whole day reading on the roof in the sun. As you may be able to tell from my pictures, I am working on a really great tan! Hope all is well! Love, Danni

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Our Trip to the Family Park in Quisapincha!

Today Magus and her family took me to the top of Quisapincha (a large mountain). We went to picnic there and take photos at a family park. It was so much fun. There were animals and indigenous plants that I was able to view and learn about. We relaxed most of the trip and just enjoyed our beautiful surroundings. Here are the pictures. 

Turkey fight...

My new friend!

Quinoa plant!

 Maria Paz!

Picnic in the park!

After lunch relaxing!

After lunch tamale!

Overlooking the city of Ambato!

La mascota of the park!

 Helado de Paila! A unique Ecuadorian ice cream! The flavors are blueberry and coconut!
Thanks for taking interest in me and my trip!